Judy Harvey training day 22nd May 2013 

“Forward Forward Forward………” I heard in the background of my “hands free” as I turned the car around and waved for the third time at the man walking his dog who laughed and waved back. From there Traffic Controller Ann talked me in to the yard!

Needless to say I missed the best part of the first session, however I did hear an excellent explanation of how to encourage a horse to take the neck out without losing the connection and balance by keeping the reins short enough to maintain a good contact and producing greater support and engagement from the hind legs, which reminded me of just why we were there. Judy Harvey is both generous and exceptionally clear in her explanations of training, coaching, judging and riding, indeed an all round view from which everyone is able to learn.

Just seven were seated to watch and absorb the sound training method and to join in the open discussion which Judy is able to encourage, offering only positive feedback underlining the comments made which serves to further the confidence of all who contribute. Read more Judy Harvey training day 22nd May 2013 

Badminton course walk with Nick Turner, May 3rd 2013

It was unusual to drive south from Northumberland to find that spring was also late at Badminton with slow growing grass and no swallows in the main arena on the Friday.

However, sun, blue skies and a fresh wind made perfect conditions for course walking.

Nick started by saying how well and fit all the horses had looked at the initial trot up the previous evening and that he felt that this year’s course was for a thinking rider but horse friendly.

The fences were discussed in terms of approach, lines through combinations, stride options and the effects of various landings.

Gear changes were mentioned often (we’re talking Porsche not Minis! ) The need for the powerful, hock engaged canter cropped up several times.

An awareness of time versus the terrain and the ability of the rider to make up their time on the open places after the inevitable steadying effect of the combinations.

Riders making decisions and committing to their line but ultimately riding with their eye and reacting positively to what is happening underneath them.

Thank you Nick for giving up your time and Ann for organising such an educational and enjoyable afternoon.

Report by Sally Robinson